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NBC, Affiliates Strike Agreement to Improve OTT Distribution

Furthering local broadcasters’ over-the-top opportunities, NBC has reached an agreement with its affiliates board that will allow stations to opt in to the network’s carriage agreements with streaming services.

The agreement also covers distribution over pay-TV providers’ TV Everywhere platforms, the network said.

“We are happy to once again reinforce NBC’s commitment to and recognition of the value of the affiliate partnership and that of local broadcasters. This agreement in the digital space reaffirms that commitment,” Jean Dietze, president NBC affiliate relations, said in a statement.

“Discussions between NBC and the NBC Affiliate Board regarding OTT and TVE distribution rights have been in the works over the last several months and this agreement sets NBC and NBC affiliates at the forefront for the future of local television distribution,” she said.

Ralph Oakley, the affiliates board chairman, said the agreement is a step toward local broadcasters have a more robust presence on OTT platforms. “We believe that OTT distribution can play an important role in ensuring the growth and development of local, network-affiliated television stations,” he said.

The issue has long been a sticking point between affiliates and the Big Four networks; Disagreements over whether networks or affiliates should negotiate the carriage deals has been one of the major impediments to getting local broadcasters on OTT platforms.

(Photo via Tflynn17Image taken on April 13, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)